Issue 10, December 2013
FIND US ON facebook.com/around.hopperscrossing page NEW MAYOR FOR WYNDHAM
page CREATIONS BY THE SPANNER MAN
HAVE YOU TRIED CHATEAU D’YQUEM SAUTERNES 1926 VINTAGE?
CHRISTMAS IN WYNDHAM It is no secret to those who know me, that I love Christmas. Love is probably not a strong enough word for how I feel about the festive season: It is more of an obsession. As the proud owner of not one, but two Christmas trees, I do not believe in waiting until the 1st of December to deck my halls – if it is good enough for the shopping centers, then it is good enough for me. Thankfully I now have a three year old, to validate my Christmas-crazy, but if truth were told, it has always been this way. I am a big fan of pretty things and the world is just a whole lot prettier at this time of year. Tinsel, fairy lights, beads and baubles give everything a sparkly glow and I cannot get enough. Wyndham is a pretty festive place to live in, so here are my Top 3 things to do, if like me, you are a little obsessed with all that this season has to offer:
The Twilight market will be awash with red 1. on the 20th of December, when Watton Street literally aims to paint the town RED! Head down from 3pm onwards – crafty gifts make for great stocking fillers. 2. Santander Crescent in Point Cook really shines at Christmas. 28 houses got into the spirit of things last year, with a lights display that could no doubt be seen from space. Gangnam style was an unusual Christmas Carol to choreograph a light show to, but it certainly had the children dancing in the streets, so here’s hoping that they back it up, with something equally infectious! 3. Sanctuary Lakes puts on their annual Christmas at the Lakes on Saturday the 7th of December, at Breezewater Park. Festivities will kick off at 4pm, with rides, face painting and of course the fantastic fireworks display! continued page 3
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FROM THE EDITOR What a wonderful year it has been for the Around Community Newspapers. With Christmas and the New Year upon us, we have started another paper in Hoppers Crossing, we have set up a space to print the papers, obtained a printing press, some knowledgable people have come forward to show us how it is all done, and managed to output a round of papers from that press successfully. We are entirely self sufficient it seems, we have plan and back up plans of course should anything halt production, but lets just say, this is a very exciting year for the paper. We are here for the long term.
see that this is something truly terrific that has been provided for the benefit of the local communities around Altona, Hoppers Crossing and Point Cook. A large congratulations to Will who has pretty much single handedly organised the printing side of things this year while managing to maintain the other production functions. I wish you all the best for the Christmas season and a Happy New Year. Signing off for 2013! Warm Regards
Bill, our esteemed publisher, is now 86 and he has taught me quite a lot during all the years I have spent with the paper. Looking back it is hard not to
PUDDLING WITH THE PUBLISHER Hello to the Very Merry Month of December! For me it came very very quickly and I hope it doesn’t go as quickly for I enjoy the jollity and the companionship of those I know so well. At the paper we’ve enjoyed a good year and met a lot of fabulous people, been to a lot of functions, and learned a lot from others. We’ve made lots of plans for 2014 including expected new developments to help cope with the improved economy promised by our new Government although in their early days they seem to be caught flat footed
stopping the boats, cancelling the Carbon and Mining taxes and creating new jobs – guess we’ll just have to watch, wait, and see. It’s a pity we got caught spying on our neighbor –looks like we’ll have to wait for a change of government so we can simply say ‘Sorry’.
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I know that Christmas can get a little hectic for some – so much to do and so little time! My advice is simple: If you feel like it is all getting on top of you, stop and breathe. Take a look into the face of a child and see the magic from their perspective. Santa is watching, so be nice to all you encounter and send your Christmas cards out early – technology is great, but there is nothing like receiving a card in the mail. Eat much and have a wonderful Christmas! Melissa Longo
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POINT COOK HOLDS A WEEKEND CAMP OUT FOR A GREAT CAUSE In it’s second year, the Point Cook Relay for life was on again and this year my daughter Mia and I joined the Dramawerkz group for the eighteen-hour event to work towards a cancer free future. The Relay's patron Member for Altona District Jill Hennessy opened the event. "This shows a community that is compassionate and connected," Ms Hennessy said. "Cancer doesn't discriminate and, amidst the fear, it's important to create hope. "It was truly joyful to come together to celebrate and support those touched by cancer. The commitment of the organisers and those who support the event is truly humbling." Comunity Engagement Co-ordinator Kate Rankin commended the effort by all involved in making the Point Cook event a weekend to enjoy. "It was great to see so many of our politicians present. They can only give their time to so many events," "The committee are a lovely lot - they've worked really hard this year and taken on board improvements from last year, such as trolleys in the car park to get set up." Joining former Altona MP Lynn Kosky in cutting the ribbon to start the Relay was a young lady called Hannah, who courageously described battle and loss of her mother to gastric cancer only five months before. Her mother was only thirty-nine years old. The night was cold but free from rain. The bands were fantastic and there were great events to take part in like ‘Relay Idol’ and ‘Miss Relay’. At about nine in the evening we lit our rememberance candles to honour those we’ve lost and our survivors. Laps around a field of lights was in itself very inspirational. The Candlelight ceremony called everyone together for a moment of reflection. The words 'CURE' and 'HOPE' moved across a slideshow of loved ones. A song playing the words "we can be the change... If you're out there... Fight back.’ Organiser Maree McCraw talked about the significance of three candles burning thoughout the night of past memories of loved ones, present support and love in the fight and the future vision of a world without cancer. Survivor Lauris Knight talked about her cancer journey
and the importance of support groups at a time during a time when you are dealing with the varied reactions of the people you love and the overwhelming changes in your body. Lauris also looked at the humorous side of living with cancer, describing a moment when she grumbled to her family about her mascara being useless and her family gentle pointing out she’d lost her eyelashes. For our team, it was a night to enjoy a community camp out for a good cause. Certainly not your regular Saturday night with a group of young teenagers. As Dramawerkz participant Sue Wright reflected, the impact of information overload about world issues and its many challenges can be significant for young people today. "It's easy to get overwhelmed by the magnitude of problems in the world so you just have to find your own little sphere and do what you can." Chair Manager John Ballastrino said the Relay for Life was a great event for the Point Cook community and the hard work of the Committee and teams had paid off considering by the end of this year’s event, the majority of teams had registered for the 2014 Relay. The small details like having hot chocolate and doughnuts available at 3am was certainly a winner for most of us. And I thank whole-heartedly the lady in one of our neighbouring teams, who handed out cookies at 4am. By the end of the event, even Ouzo, the faithful seeing eye dog of Pirates Softball Team participant Anne Maree was showing signs of exhaustion. According to the Cancer Council’s Cancer in Victoria Statistics and Trends 2012, ‘In 2012, cancer claimed the premature loss of nearly 60,000 years of life in Victoria. This is more than four times the loss resulting from other major causes of death. Advances in research have meant that ‘During the period 1987-2011, five-year survival increased from 47% to 66%’. 131120 the Cancer Council helpline is available Monday to Friday, with nurses experienced in the many questions that arise at all stages of all types of cancer. Annually, the helpline receives about 20,000 calls. Check out Point Cook’s Relay for Life on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PointCook RelayForLife or visit relayforlife.org.au for more information. Petronella Boonen
ARCHIE’S EXTRA KICK FOR HOLIDAY FUN! The Archie Thompson School of Soccer (ATSOS) launched its first holiday programs in September 2013. Whilst based on an elite camp model, the ATSOS program aims to provide boys and girls, of all ability levels, a chance to meet some stars of the game and develop their skills in a friendly environment.
game in Australia is getting bigger and better. I really wanted to put something together that was a terrific experience for the kids involved."
Melbourne Victory and Socceroo superstar, Archie Thompson, in conjunction with experienced coaches, developed a program based on the FFA Curriculum. "I'm so excited about the program. I have often been approached to be part of holiday and after school soccer programs but never found the one that really fitted the way I thought it could be done. For me it has to be more than a few drills," says Thompson. "We have a terrific structure that progresses from simple drills to complex game based situations. The
Keep up to date with everything ATSOS at www. schoolofsoccer.com.au and register now to get the Early Bird offer – a 20% saving!
In January 2014, ATSOS comes to Altona when it kicks off at Emmanuel College, St. Paul’s Campus, Altona North from Tuesday January 21st to Thursday January 23rd. Archie is keen to provide some words of advice for the 8-17 year olds who will attend the unforgettable three day experience. Always flamboyant, Archies says, ‘Don’t forget to bring along your best goal celebrations – I’m always looking for something new to use out on the pitch!!’
Like us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/AT.School. of.Soccer Follow us on Twitter! https://twitter.com/ATSOS_ Australia
MP JILL HENNESSY CALLS FOR BOOST IN BREAST SCREENING PARTICIPATION Member for Altona District, Jill Hennessy recently released participation statistics for women in the electorate who participate in the free BreastScreen Victoria program. “In the Altona District, only 48 per cent of eligible women are having a regular mammogram every two years, this is a troubling figure that has fallen by 2 per cent since last year and is an alarming 6 per cent lower than the state participation rate.” Ms Hennessy said. “The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman over 50 years of age. With one in nine Victorian women diagnosed with the disease, we can’t afford to let that figure rise and our participation rates lower any further.” “The free mammogram screening program is the best way of finding cancer early before any symptoms
are noticed and when treatment is likely to be most successful.” She said. BreastScreen Victoria has 39 permanent screening clinics and eight assessment services. The Mobile Screening Service visits 29 locations every two years. Some clinics offer out of hours appointments, including Saturdays and group bookings are available. Women can attend any screening clinic that is convenient. “This issue is one that affects our whole community, finding cancer early saves lives.” Ms Hennessy said. Bookings are required so call 13 20 50 or go online to breastscreen.org.au to make an appointment today.
JINGLE BELLS AT WAYAPERRI HOUSE provides a regular, uplifting space at a time of year that is often as fast paced and surreal as the cancer journey itself. The group is for cancer patients, carers, family and friends and are welcome for a cuppa and chat on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Monthly meetings occasionally include creative and therapeutic guest speakers (as well as the odd carol singer) with meetings sometimes held over dinner. The Werribee Community Singers and Werribee and Districts Cancer Support Group came together recently for a few carols and a lot of laughs. Both groups meet at Wayaperri House on 106 Duncans Road, Werribee. Singing group leader Helen Dunn says it’s been a busy time for the singers who have been called to sing with various community groups, at markets and venues across Wyndham.
For more information on the Werribee and Districts Cancer Support Group, contact Steve Marburg (Convenor) on 0418 587 086 or Koula on 9734 6498. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a line to PO Box 4405 Hoppers Crossing 3029 Werribee Community Singers get together to share a tune on Wednesday nights. For more information, contact Helen on 0407 493 065 or look up Werribee Community Singers on Facebook.
‘The get-together celebrates a friendship started earlier in the year,” Helen said of the group that aims to ‘bring singing out of the bathroom and into the community.’ “Carols are something we all know and can share. Singing is a great outlet - it releases endorphins that make you feel better about life." Friendship and support is an essential part of any group and Steve Marburg’s Cancer Support Group
Helen Gunn 7
TYPHOON HAIYAN UNEARTHS THE WORLD’S COMPASSION When I turned on the television I saw death, devastation, destruction, fear and loss. But beyond that I saw people. I saw people who looked like me - my colour, my skin and my eyes. They were my people, my countrymen who experienced this natural disaster. For days I could not watch the news. I’d hear the comparisons to the Thailand tragedies and think “could this really be happening?” My extended family lives right in the midst of where the typhoon struck. Immediately I started to Facebook message my relatives. I received a Facebook message from a cousin who resides in America “my hometown is severely damaged by the typhoon…(I have had) no contact with my brothers or sisters.” Another cousin who is currently on a ship working hundreds of miles from his home town as many Filipino men do, was messaging me on Facebook to desperately get in contact with his wife and four kids. He said he cannot go to sleep at night wondering how they are. I could not imagine the enormity of fear my relatives have. The helplessness that they encountered at the time. I thought “of all the countries this could happen to why would Mother Nature pick one of the poorest already”? I see myself in the eyes of those affected by the typhoon. I see my son in the eyes of the children who have been affected by the typhoon. It is hard to sit thousands of kilometres away and know that my people, my family are suffering and going hungry while I am here with food at my dispense. There is a sense of guilt, as I know I am no different to those who lost their lives, and those who are suffering loss. Feeling useless and hopeless, I looked to Facebook for news. Every time I looked on Facebook to hear some news from family, there was a new fundraiser created to help those victims of the typhoon. Concerts, picnics, dinner dances, club events all to raise money for the victims for those to rebuild. I received messages from people wanting to know if my family was affected and what the bank account number of my family was so they could donate money. My teacher friend told me that she prayed with her class for the typhoon victims. I see that family Kris Kringles have been forfeited this Christmas and have turned into donating to the Philippines. I saw a re-post from a friend whose friend stated “our 8
extended family is sending a few relief goods to the Philippines…we will be filling the boxes with food, blankets etc. could you help us..? An influx of compassion from my world is to be commended. I took a short trip to Daylesford on the weekend (planned before the tragedy and where I brought with me some guilt) where I was stopped on the street by a local rotary club member who was collecting money for the Philippines. I was amazed to be a witness to the generosity that exceeds beyond the main city. I am humbled by the help, support and compassion that has gone out to my countrymen. The destruction and loss the typhoon caused to my people cannot be controlled, but the decision to help can. A heartfelt thank-you for those of you who have contributed to the cause. What a people we are. Helping those we have never seen but sharing the common desire for peace. Candice Presnillo
NEW MAYOR FOR WYNDHAM Wyndham City has a new Mayor at the helm with Harrison Ward Councillor Bob Fairclough elected to the role for the first time at a Statutory Meeting on Wednesday, 6th November, 2013. Cr Fairclough previously served as Deputy Mayor and has been a Councillor since 2005.
difficult year, which included decisions to proceed with Wyndham’s largest ever capital works projects, the redevelopments of the Wyndham Leisure and Events Centre and the Werribee Sports and Fitness Centre.”
Following his election as Mayor, Cr Fairclough thanked his fellow Councillors for their support and paid tribute to outgoing Mayor Cr Heather Marcus.
“Cr Marcus also played a crucial role, together with Wyndham’s CEO, Kerry Thompson and Director of Advocacy, Bill Forrest in lobbying both State and Federal governments for funding to support major infrastructure investment in Wyndham.”
“I feel humbled by the fact that Councillors have given me the opportunity to serve this great City as Mayor and I look forward to working together to achieve good outcomes for Wyndham,” Cr Fairclough said.
“Teamwork is the key to our success and as Mayor I will ensure all Councillors have their voices are heard – and most importantly to ensure we continue to listen and effectively represent the best interests of the community.”
“There are still major challenges in Wyndham that need to be addressed and recent community feedback has shown the major concerns of residents are transport, services, parks and recreation, city image and public safety. As Mayor, I will continue to work with Councillors to address these issues.”
Wyndham Mayor Cr Bob Fairclough will serve until late-2014. Councillors voted not to elect a Deputy Mayor for 2013/14 Mayoral term following the adoption of portfolios for Councillors in August.
“As a Council, we will continue to strongly advocate both State and Federal governments for greater funding for our roads, community and sporting facilities and to improve our public transport services.”
For more information on Wyndham’s new Mayor, including contact details, visit www.wyndham.vic. gov.au
“Wyndham should be a place where our residents have the opportunity to work locally, experience the benefits of effective public transport services, the opportunity for people of all ages to gain skills and experience at local education providers and for our families to enjoy a relaxed and safe environment.” “I would like to pay tribute to the wonderful contribution Cr Marcus has made to our city, especially in her role as Mayor over the last 12 months. Cr Marcus has been a very effective leader for the council presiding over Council during a
GET INTO SUMMER READING This summer Wyndham City Libraries have great reading programs for both children and adults. Iramoo Ward Councillor Heather Marcus said young children and teenagers can sign up to the Summer Reading Club, while adults can participate in the statewide Summer Read. “The Summer Reading Club is a fun way to keep children entertained with plenty of incentives for them to read as many books as they can, including stickers, bookmarks, temporary tattoos and great prizes including a mini iPad.” “This is a great way to get the kids reading over the holidays, and it’s free,” Cr Marcus said. “Wyndham Libraries offer fiction and non-fiction books that will entertain and educate while they are enjoying the break.” “We have books for both children and young adults. The Library has copies of popular titles such as The Hunger Games, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Fantastic Mr Fox, Heroes of Olympus and the Geronimo Stilton stories.” “Reservations can be made over the phone or online. Come in and have a look at our large selection and borrow a book that appeals to you.” The Summer Reading Club for children and teenagers
runs from the 2nd December, 2013 until the 24th January, 2014 and children can sign up at Wyndham City Libraries. Teenagers will be able to register online. Cr Marcus said this year adults are also encouraged to take up a book on the summer holidays. “Wyndham City is supporting The Summer Read, a state-wide program that offers a list of ten fiction and non-fiction books, either set in Victoria or written by Victorians.” “The program celebrates Victoria as a centre for writing, books and readers. It’s great way of educating and enjoying our place of residence.” “We also have popular new fiction titles for adults including Cuckoo’s Calling and Never Go Back, as well as non-fiction titles such as Save With Jamie. So bring your kids down to the local library and pick up a great book for both you and the kids.” You can borrow the books in the program from your local Wyndham City library and readers will go in for the chance to win some great prizes. The Summer Read runs from 18th Dec, 2013 to 16th Feb, 2014. For more information on the Summer Reading Club for kids visit: www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/libraries For information on the Summer Read for adults visit: http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/summer-read
FREE LEGAL ADVICE @ WYNDHAM LEGAL SERVICE The real role of a Youth Lawyer Youth Law is not merely centered on casework and representation, but also consists of building relationships of trust with the youth, breaking down barriers and referring them to the relevant services with the aim of engaging and encouraging them to seek assistance early on. Wyndham Legal Service has a full-time Youth Lawyer who works with youth aged 25 and under, to provide them with legal advice and representation. Engaging youth often proves difficult when the flawed perception of a stiff, suited-up lawyer lingers in one’s mind. Respect for authority is frequently lacking, as in the minds of the youth, the legal system has failed them, so why should they trust ‘us’? The aim is to reintroduce the perception of a lawyer to them, such as playing pool at the ‘Garage’, or having a chat with them at the local Youth Resource Centre (YRC). When the time comes to seek legal assistance, it is hoped that the face of youth law is perceived as an easy-going, non-judgmental and friendly individual. A further challenge in engaging youth is persuading
them to seek legal assistance when they first encounter a legal problem. There are non-exhaustive factors as to why youth often seek assistance when their legal problems have escalated, however the more common factors include drug and alcohol dependence, mental health issues and homelessness. Linking and referring youth with relevant support services is important as it provides a stepping stone towards facing and dealing with the issues they are experiencing. Engaging youth is the pinnacle to tackling their legal issues. If ‘they’ trust ‘us’, then ideally this barrier will be inexistent. To obtain FREE legal advice, contact the Wyndham Legal Service on 97410198 to make an appointment. The Wyndham Legal Service also runs a weekly drop in service at the YRC on Thursdays from 4pm.
Regards, Marijana Wyndham Legal Service
SCHOOLKIDS BONUS CUTS HURT LOCAL FAMILIES The Abbott Government has delivered yet another blow to local families releasing their plans to abolish the Schoolkids Bonus.
Instead of being honest, Mr Hockey is claiming the Schoolkids Bonus was paid for by the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) –it wasn’t.
These cuts would mean more than 1.25 million Australian families – and 12,000 local families – would be left worse off.
Of all people, Mr Hockey should know the Schoolkids Bonus replaced the Education Tax Refund and has nothing to do with the MRRT.
Introduced by the previous Labor government, the Schoolkids Bonus provided $410 for each child in primary school and $820 for each child in secondary school.
Rather than trying to fool voters, Mr Hockey needs to recognise that all he is doing is hurting our kids’ education.
Cutting the Bonus means the average family with two kids will be $1,230 worse off every year and $15,000 worse off over the life of their child’s education. As a former teacher and principal, I know how important this money is to parents, helping them cover the costs of their children’s books, uniforms and excursions. Not only is Treasurer Joe Hockey ripping this funding away from families, he is also trying to dupe the community about his reasons for doing so.
That’s why Labor will oppose any cuts to this important funding and fight for a fairer deal for families.
Joanne Ryan Member for Lalor Ph. (03) 9742 5800 Joanne.Ryan.MP@aph.gov.au 2/36 Synnot St, Werribee
From The Inbox
CREATIONS BY THE SPANNER MAN
A very interesting find which appeared in the Inbox this month, thanks to Bruce McCubbery. Apparently he comes from somewhere near Boort in Victoria. He does it all by himself from a wheel chair. If you want further information on him just search â€œThe Spanner Manâ€? in Google, I was able to find some interesting interviews and information online. In my humble opinion, recycling does not get better than this. Editor.
From The Inbox
Hello, this one is from daughter Penny, and is worth thinking about...
Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400.00 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has rules. The set of rules: 1. Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you. 2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account. 3. You may only spend it. 4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400.00 for that day. 5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, â€œGame Over!â€? It can close the account and you will not receive a new one. What would you personally do? You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all people you love. Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every cent, and use it all, right? ACTUALLY This GAME is REAL!
Shocked?? YES!! Each of us is already a winner of this PRIZE. We just can't seem to see it. This PRIZE is *TIME* !! 1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, 2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us. 3. What we haven't lived up that day is forever lost. 4. Yesterday is forever gone. 5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING.... SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds? Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars. Think about that, and always think of this: Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think. So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life! Here's wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start spending.... All the best, Michael
CALL TO JOIN MASTERS OF AN AGE–OLD GAME ‘There are not many opportunities for over 35 year olds to get together and enjoy a sporting release in a team environment’ – John Radcliffe Age is no barrier for the boys at Werribee Masters Australian Rules Football Club. Werribee Masters Australian Football Club requires players for season 2014. Following a successful 2013 in which Werribee Masters had three teams playing masters footy. Werribee Masters Australian Football Club completed its second season in the Premier Division of Masters football. Sine the club joined the Metropolitan Division of Masters football six years ago the club has won three grand Finals and has been promoted to the Premier Division of master’s football. The club is looking forward to another great year in 2014. New players are needed to join a fun and family oriented club for the coming footy season. The club has three teams playing masters footy, 2 Master’s teams for Over 35’s, and a Legends (Over 45’s) team. Players need to be turning 35 in 2014 to be eligible to play in the Masters competition, the club play triple headers at all home and away games in and
around Melbourne metropolitan area, games are only played every fortnight, allowing ample time for the body to recover. All players are guaranteed a game, The Werribee Masters Australian Football Club has been established for 30 years and play home games from Chirnside Oval which has excellent facilities for both playing and social functions. The club is putting the call out for more members. Werribee Masters Coach John Radcliffe, said the benefit of a physical sport such as Australian Rules for men approaching middle age were not readily available else where in Wyndham. ‘There are not many opportunities for over 35 year olds to get together and enjoy a sporting release in team environment. The club also has a great family atmosphere so that everyone is catered for on game days’ Werribee Masters Australian Football club does precisely that and the club is looking forward to another successful season in the metro and country leagues of AFL master’s football. Games are only played every fortnight and not on public holidays the season start in late April, playing every two weeks allow ample time for the body to recover. The club has great camaraderie, spirit and a very enjoyable social atmosphere. For more details contact Jason Bezzina on 0488 456 756 or visit our web site at www.werribeemasters.com
AJUGA AUSTRALIS â€“ AUSTRAL BUGLE / COMMON AUSTRALIAN BUGLE The Australian Bugle is a small perennial herb with a basal rosette of leaves, and soft, erect stems. Plants have been known to spread to one metre wide, but they are usually more contained.
Widespread in southern and eastern states, the indigenous Australian native, Ajuga australis, is an adaptable species that deserves to be grown more frequently. Perhaps the lack of local interest is because it is frequently confused with Ajuga reptans, an herbacious European species that is similar in appearance.
Ajuga australis is an adaptable species that naturally occurs in a range of climates from subalpine meadows to rocky desert gullies. The leaves are velvety, toothed and decrease in size towards the flowers spikes. The flowers, which are seen mainly in spring and summer, are usually deep blue or purple, but pink and white forms are also known. Each flower is around 15mm long, somewhat tubular in shape and has a short upper lip and a long, spreading lower lip. This pretty but tough little species is quite adaptable and will grow satisfactorily in most semi-shaded positions in well-drained soil. Propagation is easy from cuttings and seed. You should, however, be aware that there can be a problem with Ajuga australis. Plants can be difficult to source and, if you do find it, it could turn out to be the European Ajuga reptans incorrectly labelled as our pretty little native. I am told that Ajuga australis is propagated from cuttings, whereas the far more rampant Ajuga reptans is propagated from division of the clump. On close inspection, you will discover the leaves and flowers are also quite different. I have seen several Ajuga reptans plants thriving in local gardens (my parents once had a large patch in their back garden) and the occasional Ajuga australis. The model for this painting was loaned by the horticultural staff at Melbourne Zoological Gardens. The Habitat Trust donated this watercolour to the State Botanical Art Collection housed at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Helene Wild email@example.com 17
FROM HOPPERS TO DANDO'S Dogs are allowed in the campground; therefore this was a good place to introduce 8-month-old Maple to the great outdoors. Maple met the outdoors and was most pleased, she spent the whole day exploring the surrounds, with her nose never far from the ground sniffing all the wonderful new smells, and trying to understand the large variety of birdsongs.
Not much is free these days (only the best things in life), and free camps are one of the best things. Dando's Camping Ground in the Otways has everything the discerning camper could wish for, with an extra duck to two. Spaciousness, fireplaces, tables and chairs, and a location money could not buy. Free camps are also the best places for comparing notes with other campers, people using these places are generally quite friendly and happy to swap travelling tales with fellow wanderers. Dando's camp is situated on the Gellibrand River, this river is lined with luscious tree ferns, and when looking downstream one could be excused for thinking they were in the heart of an ancient rainforest. Access to the river from the campground has been made easy, steps lead to a small landing which is in a perfect position to practise the fine art of fishing, and if the fish are agreeable, a good spot to catch dinner. Anyone with a penchant for photography could make good use of this platform and lose track of time while happily snapping away.
Walks along the river only resulted in one unexpected swim, and although it is virtually impossible to tire a puppy, the evening saw Maple collapse in a heap and she was not heard from until the next morning. Dando's, 2 hours from Hoppers, rainforest to ramble through, river to fish in, campfires to cook on, what more could you ask for? Check out trippinwithjen at http://wp.me/p3AXju-2E for more pictures. Jenny Bates
HAVE YOU TRIED CHATEAU D’YQUEM SAUTERNES 1926 VINTAGE? I Have! Regarded as the second best year ever for the Chateau, 1926 was only second to their best ever, their vintage of 1923. For me, it has become a most memorable event in my life – fortunately there are many others! It happened in 1975. My friend, famous wine writer Robin Bradley, heard there was a bottle of the 1926 vintage up for auction in London and suggested some 20 of our wine club members may like to put together a fund to bid for this bottle. His estimate of the value was $3-4000. The consortium was filled within a few days after the word got out. One of the members was an airline pilot who was able to be scheduled to be in London for the Auction and our fund was made available for his discretion. Fortunately for the group we won the day at much less than expected enabling the purchase of a great red from another famous Chateau. Subsequently, after a short time and after the wine was given a chance to recover from its transportation we were invited to a cellar in Melbourne for a tasting of this top world rated vintage. It’s quite possible some of us may have gone home to take a bath and dress for the occasion – I’m sure I did. We were told of the winemakers’ litany: sell on cheese – buy on apple, and took due note. On arrival at the venue we found candles alight in the barrel lined cellar and the special bottle reclined in its rest, like us, waiting for the event. Robin gave a short description of its life and gently withdrew the cork. Now this is a long time ago and my memory may
have dimmed over the years however I’m prepared to swear this is what happened. As soon as Robin drew the cork the bottle stink (the smell between the cork and the wine) seemed to permeate throughout the room after just a few minutes (whether it was possible I don’t care – all present agreed) Slowly Robin poured a small amount into 20 wine glasses and we all moved forward to get our prize and dive off looking for a space to spend time with this magic. Each of us stood alone, gazing at the marveless green gold colour of this magnificent wine, with our nose hovering over the glass, admiring the powerful nose, unwilling to let the moment pass, rolling the wine around the glass, and trying not to hurry our chance to sip our prize. I guess it was difficult to wait and very soon each of us took our first sip. The wine was superb, everything that had been said about it was true, it was magnificent, mouth filling, an unreal pleasure, as we slowly sipped our morsel. I can’t taste the wine after 40 years but I can sure see that magnificent green gold colour magic when I remember the day, which I’m doing right now. Bill McPherson “Wines from Château d'Yquem are characterised by their complexity, concentration and sweetness. A relatively high acidity helps to balance the wine's sweetness. Another characteristic for which Château d'Yquem wines are known is their longevity. With proper care, a bottle will keep for a century or more. During this time, the fruity overtones will gradually fade and integrate with more complex secondary and tertiary flavours” Wikipedia
Laugh Out Loud
Nana is eighty-eight years old... ... and still drives her own car. She writes: Dear Granddaughter, The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a 'Honk if you love Jesus' bumper sticker... I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meetingâ€Ś So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper. Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed. I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn't notice that the light had changed.
or something. Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii , so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back. My grandson burst out laughing. Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!! A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on through the intersection. I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared. So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!! Will write again soon, Love, Nanna
It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed. I found that lots of people love Jesus! While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, 'For the love of God!' 'Go! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, GO!' What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love! There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach.. I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant. He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign 21
ALBATROSS The albatross, tireless wanderer, Has a wingspan of up to twelve feet; Greater than any feathered creature; At sustained flight, he’d be hard to beat. His habitat is the southern seas; Soaring aloft no effort for him; But he can land on water with great ease; Equipped with webbed feet, he’s able to swim. The whirr of chainsaws in the forest Does not bother the albatross; The sea and sky are his address; For those doomed trees, he don’t give a toss. Only birds of the passerine kind Regret the destruction of trees; Cut them all down; he would not mind; They can do with them what they please. Ocean and sky satisfy his need, Being almost always on the wing; Coming to land once a year to breed; A treeless island for that just the thing. Fishing is his living and sport; And he’s on the go both day and night; He’ll eat all the fish that he has caught, But not at table: he dines in flight. Birds are exploited for food and fun; Many millions each year are trapped or shot; But this bird has no fear of the gun, Or ending up in a cooking pot. Should you shoot one, your luck will turn bad, As the Ancient Mariner found to his cost In Coleridge’s Rime, a tale so sad, Of a matelot whose soul was thus lost. Jack Nystrom, Thursday, 17 January, 2013. 22
May I have
Hoppers Xing kids
a sheet of … Paper Origami Kirigami Cardboard fibre print pulp papier-mâché paperplanes quilling blotting sand emery wrapping writing drawing specialty handmade tissue cartridge wax recycling papyrus kraft rag
Calling on Hoppers Crossing Schools and Parents to share photos, art, stories, writing for this page. Email your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to the PO Box 1145 Altona Meadows 3028
Please redistribute rather than discard.